Friday, July 13, 2007
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), has started putting finishing touches to the first phase of a mammoth project called the National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL). This aims to put all the courses of this Institute online in the next three years.On June 30th this year, the IIT finished uploading 120 of its most popular science and engineering courses ( www.nptel.iitm.ac.in) that will provide access to classes and faculty of the IIT to not only the students in the country, but also to the students, teachers academicians, "and anybody who cares to log in" from across the world; and all this for free to boot.NPTEL was inspired by the Open Courseware (http://ocw.mit.edu) project instituted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The IIT is one of the few higher learning institutes in India that can boast of an ideal student-teacher ratio. But then, out of the 350,000 students that aspire to get into the IITs each year, only about 4000 manage to gain admission. This is because this institution is India's "Ivy League" technology institute. In fact, it is ranked as the third best technology university in the world (just behind MIT and California University, Berkeley) by the London-based Times Higher Educational Supplement.